Kevin Lankinen Stands Tall As Blackhawks Down Ducks in Anaheim

You just have to love the 9:30 PM local starts in the middle of the week. Especially a couple days after a “disheartening” trade deadline… at least that’s the word Jonathan Toews used to describe it earlier on Wednesday.

Friendly faces moving on to other teams sucks. But competing on the ice still has to happen between the deadline and the end of the regular season, and there are new players competing for ice time with the Blackhawks this season and beyond.

Which gets us to the roster construction for Wednesday night’s game in Anaheim. Erik Gustafsson was in the lineup in place of Alex Vlasic. There is no good reason for Gustafsson to every take another NHL shift for the Blackhawks after the deadline if there are seven defensemen on the NHL roster. Zero. We know who/what he is as a player and that player should have been on waivers 3 months ago.

Anyways, Gustafsson dressed and the Blackhawks played a game. And one of the guys acquired in one of those “disheartening” trades continues to look like there’s some potential there. Taylor Raddysh scored a power play goal in the first period, his second in his third game since being traded to the Hawks.

Patrick Kane picked up his 53rd assist of the year on the Raddysh goal. Raddysh’s former Erie teammate, Dylan Strome, had the other helper.

Because we aren’t allowed to have nice things, former Blackhawks’ farmhand Sam Carrick tied the game less than three minutes later.

Kevin Lankinen wasn’t tested much officially in the first period, but he looked great. Anaheim was credited with just four shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes; the Blackhawks were credited with nine. And the game was tied at one after one.

The second period came and went relatively quickly; it’s almost as though the Blackhawks knew the fans who stayed up to watch this one weren’t going to refill their coffees after the first period so they needed to get to work. Lankinen was superb in the second period, stopping 14 Ducks’ shots in the period.

The Hawks got a power play in the middle of the period and Kane made the Ducks pay.

The Blackhawks scored only the one goal in the period and were credited with only seven shots on net, not including this attempted “Michigan” from Kirby Dach.

Chicago took a one-goal lead to the third period. Sam Lafferty was having an impressively disruptive game, doing everything but finish at the net. He showed good speed and a good handle… but couldn’t complete the play on a number of occasions.

Nine minutes into the third, after he delivered a big hit on one end of the ice, Reese Johnson dropped the gloves with Simon Benoit. Benoit got the better of the fight, landing a few head shots before wrestling Johnson to the ice. Johnson, of course, was playing in his first game since Dec. 11, so getting his ass kicked wasn’t maybe the best idea.

With 6:32 left in regulation, Carrick picked up his second goal of the night and the game was tied at two.

With 3:50 left in regulation, Riley Stillman blasted a shot from the point that was redirected by a driving-by Strome, who beat Carrick to the front of the net when the Ducks’ lone goal scorer went for the hit instead of the puck with Strome in the corner before the rubber found Stillman at the point.

Kane picked up his third point of the night with the second assist on Strome’s go-ahead goal.

Alex DeBrincat scored into the empty net with 63 seconds left in regulation to seal the deal. The goal is DeBrincat’s 35th of the season.

Lankinen had a really nice night, stopping 27 of 29 in his first start as “the man” in Chicago after the trade deadline.

Strome had another really good night. He now has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 10 games in the month of March. He also won two-thirds of his faceoffs in this game (14 of 21). Apparently the only guy who could contain his offense was Jeremy Colliton… and former Erie Otters had three of Chicago’s four goals on the night.

40 thoughts on “Kevin Lankinen Stands Tall As Blackhawks Down Ducks in Anaheim

  • March 24, 2022 at 12:17 am
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    Looked loose out there.

    Lankinen earned that one.

  • March 24, 2022 at 12:28 am
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    I love those West coast games. Very competitive tonight which is a good sign. If Lafferty could ever finish a play, he’d be deadly. He did have some nice moves with speed. So far Raddysh is making the new GM look like a genius. Gus has got to have some pictures of somebody important is the only reason I can think of him getting ice time. Time for Kubalik to take a night off. Another so-so night for that “washed up” Kane fella.

  • March 24, 2022 at 1:09 am
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    At least they made it worth staying up to watch. Won’t see alot of skilled players in bottom 6 next few years, so having a big physical, fasting skating, hard working 2oo ft. player around should be a perfectl fit and make Lafferty a no brainer contract extension. Raddysh and Katchouk signed for 2 more years will get every chance to show shat they can do.

    Agree nice first win for Lankinen as the no.1 guy now.

  • March 24, 2022 at 1:48 am
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    Great game for Lafferty,Raddysh,and the Kane line. Lankinen was good but did pez dispenser some rebounds into the slot. Dach was 100% better and should play that way each shift. Toews floated and ended up getting horsed on the faceoff of the game tying goal as his check outmuscled him to tap the puck in after cleanly winning the faceoff. Katcheuk should have been up on the line with Raddysh and Kubalik should have been buried on the 4th line. Kurashev reverted back to doing absolutely nothing. Nice to see the TNT crew interview Strome for the postgame. Hopefully he is a late bloomer and turning the corner. Please Dylan,POWERSKATING SCHOOL this summer. If it was good enough for Messier and Coffey I think you could give it a shot.

  • March 24, 2022 at 6:35 am
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    You can see Toews is butt hurt not being on the #1 pp. His attitude is killing his game, looks like Seabrook needs to get in his face again and give him a pep talk. Put Kubilik in the press box for a few games because he’s lost out there.

  • March 24, 2022 at 6:52 am
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    Only saw the first – you could tell the effort was there although ANA is possibly a worse defensive team than the Hawks – they give up chance after chance

    I know I’m beating a dead horse but what was McCabe doing on ANA’s first goal? – less than nothing actively helping ANA score – brutal – if he’s can be traded over the summer that’s another step in the right direction for the rebuild

    I suspect Kub will be traded this summer but hopefully he can put together some good games otherwise you get almost nothing in return

    Good for Lank, Lafferty, Raddysh and gald to hear Dach had a strong game – he looked good in 1st especially after getting knocked on his ass by Benoit

    RE: Gus – at least King had Seth back on PP1 – having Gus there instead was driving me crazy!!

  • March 24, 2022 at 7:00 am
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    Fun to see the old 15-16 and 16-17 top scorers for the Otters have some fun. Those games in the OHL were often one -sided. (Add in Cirelli and Foegele the last year)
    It will be tough going so cherish these wins.

  • March 24, 2022 at 7:43 am
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    Jones, Jones, and McCabe all had prominent mistakes – of course Caleb and McCabe both on the same play for the first goal, and Seth was bailed out on his absolutely stupid pass in front of the net
    But team D cleared a lot of exposed rebounds out to save Lanks too
    Hoping Lanks starts getting more of those under control with regular time in net

  • March 24, 2022 at 8:21 am
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    true leaders do not focus on themselves. true leaders do not cry about something they cannot control. as Rocky stated “it’s not how you can hit, but how hard you can take a hit and keep fighting”
    Toews time with Chicago is coming to an end soon. Stick taps for the great memories and effort but the last 4-5 years he has not played up to par. Sorry i don’t feel for him

  • March 24, 2022 at 8:42 am
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    Crybaby Captain. He has gotten so soft in his old age.

  • March 24, 2022 at 8:47 am
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    It’s funny to me that so many fans begged for years for Jonathan Toews to open up and speak his mind. And now that he has, we’re calling him things like “Crybaby Captain” for simply being honest and open. Y’all can’t have it both ways. If you want the cliche soundbites, don’t complain when that’s all you get. If you want him to show some personality, don’t whine when he does.

    And, fwiw, Kane said basically the same thing postgame but we’re not jumping all over him… are we?

  • March 24, 2022 at 9:20 am
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    Raddysh–PP snipe– with that short quick release… top shelf… brought back some visions of Hossa PP goals!!!

  • March 24, 2022 at 9:37 am
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    I watched that game last night, and here are a few observations.

    1.) Gustafson did not suck! He was actually better than average, but I would rather see Vlasic in the lineup. They should swap out McCabe and Gustafson and DeHaan the rest of the way. Let’s the kids play!

    2.) Lankinen needs to be re-signed to a long term deal.

    3.) Raddysh is better than expected! Katschouk needs to play more! King is so stupid playing Entwhistle and Katschouk 6&7 mins respectively. I don’t need to see Kurashev and Kubalik any more. As Dennis Green famously said…”they are who we thought they are – dung!”. I paraphrased.

    4.) Strome is earning a new contract! The kid is figuring it out. I have said in the past, just look at his brother’s trajectory who figured it out when he went to NY, so maybe Dylan will too. I am glad to say that he has!

    5.) Toews is a bitch!

  • March 24, 2022 at 9:51 am
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    TAB, I want him to do his job and shut up. He is a loafing floater right now . Put Kubalik and Kurashev with him on the 4th line and skate him 6 minutes a night.

  • March 24, 2022 at 10:28 am
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    I’m not gonna slag Toews although it’s surprising he didn’t seem to understand what a rebuild is until Hagel got traded

    Surely he can see that Raddysh is doing a
    good job replacing Hagel all by himself and then there are 3 other pieces that came the Hawks way in that trade – that’s how you rebuild

    Toews will only go if he wants to and I don’t expect a decision until closer to TDL 2023 – he could well have an improved year next year which will increase his value both to the Hawks or another team at TDL

    I suppose he could sign an extension over the summer but I doubt it

  • March 24, 2022 at 10:28 am
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    TimW you should be telling the reporters to stop asking him questions then, all Toews did was give a reporter a honest answer to a question.

  • March 24, 2022 at 10:50 am
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    Tab, Toews is a snowflake cry baby when he doesn’t get his way. He is a piss poor example of a captain. Ask him to waive his NMC and send him packing. He no longer has any skill, he is at best now a 3rd line center……and Especially with what we all know now on how he handled himself during 2010 and Kyle Beach and his comments this past year.

  • March 24, 2022 at 10:58 am
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    Beer +… u being too kind to #19- not close to a 3rd line C
    He is at best Madden- 4th line C who can win FO/ kill penalties
    if 19 scores 8-10 goals… u r extremely happy

  • March 24, 2022 at 11:14 am
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    @Toews

    OK – as June would say to Ward…you’re being awfully hard on the beaver!

    Well, fellas you are being awfully hard on the Captain. I don’t disagree that he has lost a lot in the last two years. But, the guy has been seriously sick and has made a remarkable comeback. With that being said, I think he should have retired last year and should retire after this season. He is a 3rd line center at best, but he is still better than Kirby Dach – think about that for a minute!

    I did not like the comment about your buddies getting traded. That was a “bitch” move. You can tell that to your wife or GF at home, but at the office or the ice-rink you deal with it and don’t comment. In fact, you try to make the new guys feel wanted. That’s what a good Captain does!

    He handled that Beach incident so poorly, but so did the entire organization. He was a 20 year old captain, while McDonuts, StanBlo, Bullwinkle, and the rest of the crew really screwed the pooch on that one.

    But, as capatain we did win 3 Cups, so thank you for that and stop being a bitch!

  • March 24, 2022 at 11:57 am
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    “Toews is a bitch”. I just have to shake my head at that one. Toews doesn’t owe anybody anything. He’s still our Captain until he’s not. Lay off the guy, he’s a winner. Of course he’s upset about the trades and the “rebuild”. So would anybody that’s been used to winning. You can blame StanBo for the collapse of this team. Not Jonathon Toews. Give him a healthy offseason and see what happens next year.

  • March 24, 2022 at 12:07 pm
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    Hammer- your comments are noted. He does NOT owe anyone anything – and is a Hall of Famer- 1st ballot.

    He WAS a winner… now he is just a guy ( who is making way more than he is currently worth)
    I don’t blame Toews- but as a “just another guy Player”- he really shouldn’t so critical to the “Program” for trying to take steps to correct all of Blowman’s mistakes.

    Regarding next year… Guy was trending in wrong direction for several years. I do NOT share your optimism for a “comeback”… sure he can surprise me- with a 10 game “turnback the clock” scoring out burst… but the guy is Less than half the player he was in most facets of his game.

    Still a HOF player- no doubt

  • March 24, 2022 at 1:00 pm
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    Lay off Toews ? Because he used to be a good player ? Sorry…..what he did 7 years ago doesn’t get him a pass today. And I don’t care if he was a 20 yr old captain, you got the C in your chest….act like a captain, saying he is just a kid and doesn’t know any better is beyond lame. He knows right from wrong doesn’t he ?? Again, waive your NMC and see if any other team even wants him…..Hawks would most certainly have to take half his salary and might get a 2nd rnd pick….and that’s if anyone even wants him.

  • March 24, 2022 at 1:29 pm
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    Toews is the best captain this team has had. God forbid he shows courage and has an opinion. He speaks his mind, and does it with a level of objectivity and thoughtfulness. Is it really crazy to say that Hagel (23 years old) SHOULD be part of a team rebuild? And no offense to KD or the past GMs, but they waffled at the whole re-build thing for years. So for Towes to call it out seems pretty logical if you’re a leader. He has the command of that team, including the young players.

    All those who diss him, guarantee you were loving him during the cup years.

  • March 24, 2022 at 1:33 pm
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    Well said Beer League. I have been noting his severe decline for each of the last 5 years. I had my antenna up way back when he started bitching about Coach Qs bag skates and battle drill practices. I would take Dirk Graham or Darryl Sutter as much better Captains .

  • March 24, 2022 at 1:53 pm
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    Trip forever
    Agree with your post
    The rebuild start and collapses a few time and it never really happened. I still think he his frustrated at what happened in past 4-5years ( I understand)and it shows and he says what he has to say and that I think shows that he loves the Hawks and wants better things for the team .Toews is not perfect but he give his opinion and it should be at least respected. Who’s right who’s wrong ? Nobody knows future except a few clowns here and there who thinks they’re always right and always knows everything.

  • March 24, 2022 at 2:00 pm
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    Toews has lost a step and skill. Everyone does as one gets older and has been batter around for 15yrs of hockey. Is he under performing his contract, yes. At the same token was he over performing his earlier contracts? It all levels off, give and take. Didn’t hear anyone crying to pay him more early in his career. Every sport pays for previous production. That how the athletes get the big contracts.

    Let’s look ahead. Good point that someone said he’s better than Dach. Let him mentor Dach at the dot. Saw a video of them squaring up and taking draws, good.

    Third line Captains are ok. The Graham and Sutter both were that at a time.

    Good game to watch last night. Agree would rather watch Vlasic. Regula, Mitchell, Kalynuk and Beaudin than McCabe Gus and deHaan.

    To the Hagel worshipers. Look at the return! Yes Hagel is A piece you can build with. Not around but with. You received 1 extra piece for him and upgraded 2 other pieces for him. Out of those pieces you might get 1 piece you can build Around.

    Bigger test with LA tonight. Getting the popcorn ready.

  • March 24, 2022 at 2:07 pm
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    Who you calling a Clown? lol

    He should be frustrated… at how he has played the last few seasons…. Time to take his trophies and rings and go home… NO SHAME. No one beats Father Time.

    True warrior/champion of the past… all things must come to an end.
    He has every right to go play as “Madden-type” guy for a real deep team… where He can contribute in that Minimum role… I loved J Madden w/ Hawks- although Madden was hardly Capt. Serious… more like Capt. let’s go get turnt boys!!!! after games. At a much lower price– to go pursue one more ring.

    God bless him

    Thanks for the memories Capt. Seriously

  • March 24, 2022 at 2:27 pm
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    Part of the problem I have with the whole “I don’t care what he did X # of years ago” is that when he did those things he was underpaid at the time. You don’t care because you as a fan personally benefited from a guy being compensated WELL BELOW his contributions to the team. Hell Toews won the Conn Smythe trophy winner while on his ELC… When should that show up in his paycheck in his RFA deal?

    Everyone gets paid for work they already did. You don’t go up to your boss and say, “He Boss, I am going to be a kick ass employee for the next several years, you should pay me like that now…” You tell your boss, “Hey, look at what I accomplished for you this past year, I deserve a raise for those accomplishments.” If he or she agrees, you get paid, if not, you go look for a new job and sell them on what you did at your last job…

    Boo freaking hoo. Toews got paid. Now your team isn’t as good as you like and he isn’t playing like the super star he was. Wah.

    Go get a tissue already.

  • March 24, 2022 at 2:29 pm
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    Might need Ian for this one. Krug out with separated shoulder for STL week to week.
    Can we put deHaan or McCabe on waivers? Don’t know if we then set up a trade with the team that picks them or is it just bye bye. Either way it looks like a win win.

  • March 24, 2022 at 2:41 pm
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    Miro.nailed it. Toews always owned his own comments about issues that affected him personally and never threw anybody under the bus to do so.

    JR, if a player is claimed off waivers then the team that claimed him owns his contract at that point and Blackhawks would have nothing to trade. Is Krug a candidate be out the rest of season, if he is a straight trade could be made, but player traded isn’t eligible to play in playoffs after tdl.

  • March 24, 2022 at 2:44 pm
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    Toews was “such a bitch” a little while ago when somebody slammed Dach into the boards, he went after the guy after just getting out of concussion protocol. Has his skills declined?? No question. But now he’s a “bitch”?? Bring out the Clowns we got a roadshow here.

  • March 24, 2022 at 3:11 pm
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    Thanks Ian. Best case, for us, he’s out for the season and we trade McCabe for a pick or prospect.

    Second best case he’s not out for the season but STL ask us to put him on waivers so they can use him on the interim basis. Don’t know if it’s considered right.

    Either way McCabe would be nice to let go for nada.

  • March 24, 2022 at 3:15 pm
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    tim w

    agree with your comments on graham and darryl sutter as captains. i also wonder if kane had either of them as his captain if he would have gotten away with ignoring defense for an entire career. seems to me there would have been some very interesting in your face lectures to 88 if he pulled his defensive disappearing act with either of those captains.

  • March 24, 2022 at 3:28 pm
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    @Hammer+Time: exactly and just to add, that is not the only time Jonny has stepped in for a teammate which for a guy who can’t scrap and has had concussion issues takes stones.

    And as for concussions, I seem to recall him getting creamed by Johnny Boychuk in SCF Game 5 2013 and then in Game 6 (and everyone knew he likely shouldn’t have been playing) scoring the 1-1 goal at then end of a PK and then setting up Bickell for the 2-2 goal. That’s who JT has been his entire career and who he still today even if his skills are fading, but I guess for some you get remembered for the one or two things you get wrong rather than preponderance of things you do right.

  • March 24, 2022 at 3:36 pm
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    The same people calling Toews names like we’re in a 2nd grade classroom (I think 2nd graders are actually beyond those names now, but I digress) are the ones who were blowtorching Seabrook until they found out he needed massive, career-ending surgeries (plural). So I’m not surprised at which people are going that route. It’s immature, but that’s 30% of every fanbase and usually the most (unfortunately) vocal part.

  • March 24, 2022 at 4:12 pm
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    I think the Orpik hit on Toews was an event that didn’t get the full attention it deserved for concussion issues. I believe – and could be wrong here – that the concussion issue (and its becoming a major concern in hockey) was still in the background at that point in time.

    And who took on Orp[ik for the hit? Anyone remember – oh that’s right. Orpik wouldn’t fight anyone after any of his cheap hits in hockey.

  • March 24, 2022 at 6:15 pm
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    FWIW Tab, I have never given a rip about the captain sharing his true feelings. In the past he could let his play speak for him. He can’t do that anymore. Now he comes across as a has been when he makes comments like he did the other day. He comes off as a crybaby, not a captain.

  • March 25, 2022 at 5:31 am
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    @Tab

    What I am most upset about his comments is that it could bring down team morale and cause divisions in the locker room. With Hagel we weren’t going to get better. We needed assets, Stan made sure that we didn’t have any. So, KD made a trade to acquire more assets, and the two players that he acquired are so far making up for the Hagel loss, plus we have 2 picks in reserve. This trade was made for the betterment of the organization and it’s future. Yes, I loved the way the captain jumped in and fought, played hard throughout his career, came back from a serious illness, but he needs to recognize that he is a shell of his former self and not the impact player that we now need. So, accept the fact that we are looking for the next Jonathan Toews and be a good soldier for the new GM, who needs the backing of his leaders. I get it, he’s upset – a good young player who was your buddy was traded, but keep that internally, just don’t bitch to the press.

  • March 25, 2022 at 8:07 am
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    Suter and Graham. LOL. Such great captains, leading those teams to zero cups. Those were the “we’ll try to make the playoff” years.

  • March 25, 2022 at 3:18 pm
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    Ask the team if they think Toews’ comments are causing division. That shell of a player does more on the ice than you obviously are aware. It’s not just points.

    Not going to get better with Hagel? Some people said the same thing about Ryan Hartman. I wonder if the Hawks could use him right now???

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